New York, Dec 29 (IANS) The police have announced a $12,000 reward as it searched for a heavyset woman in her 20s who allegedly shoved an Indian man to his death in front of a train on a New York City subway platform.
The victim was identified as 46-year-old Sunando Sen of Queens, who had been raised in India and who, after years of toil, had finally saved enough money to open a small copying business this year on the Upper West Side, media reports said.
The hunt for the murder suspect, wearing a ski jacket and sneakers, sent police to local psychiatric wards and homeless shelters as investigators checked MetroCards purchases and chased other leads, according to New York Daily News.
"We're reasonably confident we will be able to identify the perpetrator," New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was quoted as saying.
A sketch of the suspect was later released and a $12,000 reward announced.
Sen had no contact with the agitated woman responsible for his death before she suddenly pushed the unsuspecting victim as the 11-car train rumbled into the station, police said.
She was alternately mumbling, swearing and speaking to herself minutes earlier as Sen tried to stay warm by ducking into the station stairwell and peering out for the train.
The attacker "was sitting down as this man went to see if the train was approaching," New York Police spokesman Paul Browne was quoted as saying. "She got up... and she came up behind him and pushed him onto the tracks."
There was no time to stop the already-braking train or for five horrified witnesses to rescue the doomed Sen. His body was found under the second car of the No.7 train, dead from blunt impact injuries to the head, police said.
Police offered no motive for the seemingly random attack, the Daily News said.
Investigators released a grainy black-and-white video overnight showing a person they identified as the attacker fleeing the station and running along Queens Boulevard, the New York Times said.
She was described by the police as Hispanic, five feet five inches tall, in her early 20s and heavyset. She was reported to be wearing a blue, white and grey ski jacket and Nike sneakers - grey on top, red on bottom.
The subway station was closed overnight as officers from the Emergency Services Unit used specialised inflatable bags to lift the train and recover the victim's remains. The No.7 line had resumed normal service by the morning rush.